6 Signs You May Be in Survival Mode

If you serve the Lord in any capacity, whether volunteer or paid, part time or full, one ministry or many, you understand the pendulum-like spectrum that sways from serving God with a passion to being stuck in a rut trying to survive. While it is a great blessing to serve the Lord, we must work to maintain a passion to serve, have a commitment to love people, and exercise a devotion to God. The Bible states in Nehemiah 8:10, “…for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” The joy we derive from serving God comes out of a purposeful, set-apart, daily devotion time with our Saviour. This is a time when we receive instruction through God’s Word while allowing the Holy Spirit to be our teacher and guide. During these devotions, it is good to bring our concerns, hurts, thoughts, and petitions to God through prayer.

Whether you have started serving Christ recently or are a seasoned veteran, would you consider whether personally your service is passion or survival? The Bible states in I Corinthians 15:58, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” Since God knew how serving Him would sometimes be, this verse helps us to strive for the quality of steadfastness and not only abound in the work of the Lord, but do it in a way that truly honors Him.

While these may apply more directly to teaching, there are practical applications to each thought presented here. Has the passion and zeal to serve Him remained in your heart, or have you lacked something in recent days? If you have an opportunity to serve and work with others, consider the following:

  1. You are slow to arrive and quick to leave. Statements such as this are a cause for concern from the get go. Was there a real excitement in the beginning when you started serving the Lord that is not there now? Maybe some searching of the Scriptures is what you need. Do you love what you do? Sure, we all love to have our free time, but in the scheme of it all, if you love what you do, you will want to be where you serve.

  2. You are negative about the positive, and others seem positive that you are negative. Have you forgotten how great serving the Lord really is? Some people are so negative that if they won a million dollars, they would complain if it came in one-dollar bills. It is true that we all have to work through and deal with circumstances we may not be completely excited about, but praise the Lord for His blessings on us! Have a positive outlook as you serve Christ.

  3. You are teaching students, but you are not a student being taught. When you aren’t willing to learn, you are done. The Lord Jesus Christ is the only one who has arrived; meaning that no human being, no matter money, fame, fortune, position, title, or heritage, has ever arrived. We do not know it all, and we do not have it all figured out. Some of the best things you learn in life are often from those you would least expect to learn from, like children.

  4. Your ministry approach majors on the minors and minors on the majors. A balanced approach to life is keeping your perspective on everything. Keep the main thing the main thing and work at where your priorities should fall. Go ahead and enforce the rules for your organization, but do not start World War III to do it. Consider a loving, balanced, sincere, heartfelt approach so that people will take you for someone who wishes it didn’t need to be dealt with, but because they love you, they have to deal with it..

  5. Reaching the head with facts and lists but not reaching the heart with love. Learn to love, encourage, and meet the needs of people. This is what serving Christ is. It is great to teach, but better to influence. It is credible to give facts, but explain the reason and why. It is wonderful to fill a position, but be a trustworthy individual. It is fine to tell someone, but it is better to show. You can meet the needs of a job description, but learn to inspire. You can go through the motions, but learn to love.

  6. You are not a servant leader but rather a leader who wants to be served. If we are not careful, we begin to believe our students are here for us since this is a school. In fact, the opposite is true – we are here for our students. We are here to meet THEIR needs.

Joy really can come from our daily walk with God as we seek His face. Having that time with God is important. It is what gives us the strength to carry on and not just “survive.” As servants of the Lord Jesus Christ, may He help us to exhibit a passion for God in and through our lives.

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